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  • Dr. Christopher McMaster, PhD


Carnegie and Rockefeller Professor and Head, Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, 2012 – present

Director, Orphan Diseases: Identifying Genes and Novel Therapeutics to Enhance Treatment (IGNITE) Clinical and Science Research Consortium, Dalhousie University, 2010 – present

Director, Cheminformatics Drug Discovery Lab, IWK Health Centre/Dalhousie University, 2006 – present

Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, cross-appointments, Dalhousie University, 2012 - present


Dalhousie University, IWK Health Centre

Research Interests:

Inherited diseases, drug target and drug discovery, metabolism

Discovering Genes that Predispose to Cancer and Other Diseases

Dr. McMaster is the lead investigator of a research consortium IGNITE (Identifying Genes and New Therapies to Enhance Treatment for Orphan Diseases). IGNITE is a team of physicians and researchers united around the theme of improving the livelihood of orphan disease patients. Under this umbrella the team has discovered that mutations in MAP3K6 predispose toward gastric cancer, and has identified a potential therapy for congenital sideroblastic anemia that entered clinical trials in 2014.

Involvement with BHCRI to date:

Dr. McMaster is a BHCRI Senior Scientist


(902) 494-3430




Department of Pharmacology, Dalhousie University, 5850 College Street, Room 6B2, Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Halifax NS B3H 4R2 Canada


Beaulieu, C.L. Samuels, M.E., Ekins, S., McMaster, C.R., Edwards, A.M., Krainer, A.R., Hicks, G.G., Frey, B.J., Boycott, K.M., and MacKenzie, A.E. (2012) A Generalizable Pre-clinical Research Approach for Orphan Disease Therapy (review)
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 7, 39

Curwin, A.J., LeBlanc, M., Fairn, G.D., and McMaster, C.R. (2013) Localization of the Proton Pump Pma1 to the Plasma Membrane is a Major Function of the Phospholipid Transfer Protein Sec14 
PLOS One 8, e55388

Cuesta-Marban, A., Botet, J., Czyz, O., Chacharro, L.M., Cajate, C., Hornillos, V., Delgado, J., Zhang, H., Amat-Guerri, F., Acuna, A.U., McMaster, C.R., Revuelta, J.L., Zaremberg, V., and Mollinedo, F. (2013) Drug Uptake, Lipid Rafts and Vesicular Trafficking Modulate Resistance to an Anticancer Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogue in Yeast
J. Biol. Chem. 288, 8405-8418

Czyz, O., Bitew, T., Cuesta-Marban, A., McMaster, C.R., Molinedo, F., and Zaremberg, V. (2013) Alteration of Plasma Membrane Organization by an Anticancer Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogue Induces Intracellular Acidification and Internalization of Plasma Membrane Transporters in Yeast
J. Biol. Chem. 288, 8419-8432

LeBlanc, M., Fairn, G.D., Russo, S.E., Czyz, O., Zaremberg, V., Cowart, L.A., and McMaster, C.R. (2013) The Yeast Oxysterol Binding Protein Kes1 Maintains Sphingolipid Levels
PLOS One 8, e55388

LeBlanc, M.A., Penney, L., Gaston, D., Shi, Y., Aberg, E., Nightingale, M., Jiang, H., Gillett, R., Fahiminiya, S., MacGillivray, C., Wood, E., Acott, P., Samuels, M.E., Majewski, J., Orr, A., McMaster, C.R., and Bedard, K. (2013) A Novel Rearrangement of Occludin Causes Brain Calcification and Renal Dysfunction
Hum. Genet. 132, 1223-1234

Fernandez-Murray, J.P., Ngo, M.H., and McMaster, C.R. (2013) Choline Transport Activity Regulates Phosphatidylcholine Synthesis Through Choline Transporter Hnm1 Stability
J. Biol. Chem 288, 36106-36115

Fernandez, C.V., Bouffet, E., Malkin, D., Jabado, N., O’Connell, C., Avard, D., Knoppers, B.M., Ferguson, M., Boycott, K., Sorensen, P.H., Orr, A.C., Robitaille, J.M., and McMaster, C.R. (2014) Attitudes of Parents Toward the Return of Targeted and Incidental Genomic Research Findings in Children
Genetics in Medicine 16, 633-640

Robitaille, J.M., Gillett, R.M., LeBlanc, M.A., Gaston, D., Nightingale, M., Mackley, M.P., Parkash, S., Hathaway, J., Thomas, A., Ells, A., Traboulsi, E.I., Héon, E., Roy, M., Shalev, S., Fernandez, C.V., MacGillivray, C., Wallace, K., Fahiminiya, S., Majewski, J., McMaster, C.R., and Bedard, K. (2014) Phenotypic Overlap Between Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) and Microcephaly Lymphedema Chorioretinal Dysplasia (MLCRD) Caused by KIF11 Mutations
JAMA Ophthalmology (In press)

Gaston, D., Hansford, S., Nightingale, M., Kaurah, P., Rideout, A., Steele, P., Jiang, H., Macgillivray, C., Greer, W., Ludman, M., Samuels, M., Orr, A., Penney, L., McMaster, C.R., Huntsman, D., and Bedard, K. (2014) Germline Mutations in MAP3K6 are Associated with Familial Gastric Cancer
PLoS Genetics (In press)

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